We’ve all been witness to the fact that smartphones are not cheap. For the past few years, buying a flagship phone outright has set you back $650, give or take a hundred. The US market has been loaded with lots of carrier deals that discount the price of the phone down to a much lower price, often $200, if you agree to a two-year contract. Even that price is too high for many, though, and what’s worse is that the budget Android market hasn’t been friendly when it comes to getting a quality phone.
Traditionally, the term “budget Android phone” has been codename for “crappy phone.” The budget Android market has had a knack for delivering flop after flop. The specs are often horrendous, the build quality is shoddy and very few are usable after two years. The budget market simply hasn’t had anything going for it except for the dirt cheap prices that the phones are sold at. If someone really just wanted a new phone at a very low price, the abysmal budget Android phones were the way to go.
But now that’s changing.
As far back as one year ago, we got our first glimpse at a new horizon for the budget Android market. Let’s start with the Nexus 4. Coming in at a starting price of $299 for the 8GB model, the Nexus 4 offered high-end specs at a price that couldn’t be matched by anything but budget Android phones. It was a feat that hadn’t yet been accomplished in the smartphone world.
Now that we’ve reached 2013, Google is once again pushing the fold. The Nexus 5 starts at just $349 for the 16GB model and features some of the most powerful specs available for smartphones. When compared to the other high-end phones on the market, it seems like a no-brainer to get a Nexus 5 over many of the others thanks to its low price and high value.
Even more recently, we saw Blu announce their latest phone, the Life Pure. The Life Pure offers specs to rival that of the Nexus 5 at the same low starting price of $349. This shows that it’s not just Google that’s capable of offering high-end budget Android devices.
But possibly the most heartening thing that we’ve seen with the budget Android market is the introduction of the Moto G. The Moto G is designed to deliver powerful hardware and software to the world at a price that blows every other smartphone out of the water. The 8GB model starts at a mere $179. And while its price tag is low, that doesn’t mean that the Moto G is a slouch. Simply check out our review and you’ll see that we were pleasantly surprised by the Moto G.
This same trend has been happening with tablets. The 2012 Nexus 7 debuted with best-in-class specs and a price that was easy on the wallet, with the 8GB model priced at $199. Other tablet manufacturers began to follow in Google’s footsteps by offering tablets with decent specs at lower prices to compete with the Nexus 7. The 2013 Nexus 7 is once again leading the low-cost, high-end charge, along with devices such as LG’s new G Pad 8.3 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0. It’s encouraging to know that not everything has to be depressingly overpriced.
Time for you to voice your thoughts, loyal reader. Do you feel that there is a change for the better taking place in the budget Android market? Or perhaps you were fine with the way things were before cheap high-end phones began to be released? Feel free to share any and all of your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!